Friday, September 27, 2013

Seemed right tonight

For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.

- from W.H. Auden's September 1, 1939

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Juhi and Kalki video

I like that video of Kalki and Juhi. Satire or not, it has come to aggregate every notion about assault in today's times. There's a scene in Mona Lisa Smile where Julia Roberts takes her class through a portfolio of advertisements created during that time. Sweet, proper women making soup, getting made up, keeping house, patting children, and staying silent, etc. In exasperation, she flings down this material and says something to the effect that these ads reflect exactly the kind of choices we made during a certain period. An entire generation will be remembered for exactly the things that these pictures capture.

Many years down the line, maybe our resistance to assault will get meshed with some collective shriek of years gone by. Maybe the insidious horror of rape, real and imminent, will not register because there may be so much of it or maybe we will be deadened. And maybe for those times, I think this video will be useful. To give, tongue in cheek, our message to the other gender: "We thought better of you. Our mistake. Sorry about that."

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The absolute deliciousness in staying alone... to pad along the cool, tiled expanse of the home, brewing lemon tea in the dead of the night, even as moonlight and starlight wilt. It's taking that warm, comforting beverage, sitting on an armchair, that's not your usual armchair but feels just so right. It's picking up a long-forgotten, hardbound book of poems, read through the lines and then read them again, slowly sipping the lines the way one does the tea...and feel warm, comforted, and exalted by it all.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

If the Gods were one of us...

This is the ganpati murti in my help's, Nanda's, home. It's a shed deep in the fields that is, today, swampy and marshy, due to incessant rain. The shed has been swept and decorated with fushcia and green rangoli. As a backdrop, she has used a lovely saffron-golden net saree. People in whose houses she works have given the tinsel and streamers. The incense sticks are special mogra-scented ones from her village.
When the winds howled and threatened to rip the roof apart and disarray everything, she and her family leapt to hold on to the tin sheets, while shielding the murti like a baby from the storm. I wonder if people ever realize how strong they are when they go to such lengths to protect a god, no less. I wonder if the god realizes how lucky it is that such fine, strong people treat it like one of their own.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A moment, a moment record this absolutely precious night. Changed into a freshly laundered pair of white kurta pajama, a combination that I have probably not worn since I was a child. Opened the fridge to find gifts from my father - 4 custard apples. I take one, break open its crusted skin, and dig into the cool, sticky flesh. I peel the thick bits off the seed or suck the sweet meatiness off them. It's sweet, cool, and exquisite. And through my mouth and into my heart, there's a great explosion of gratitude!


Friday, September 06, 2013

Coming home now?

Sudden, small things help. Like after a night of wading through dense marsh of inchoate bullying of the day, to spot early sunlight spool in through the window. To stand on the divider of the road and catch your breath when you notice the sky – unblemished, blue and glassy, with splays of plush clouds leaving silken trails. Open, honest, true – like the heart you once had. And like the returning of that heart.